Yoon, China’s Xi to hold first summit in Bali

BALI, Indonesia– President Yoon Suk-yeol will hold his first summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Bali on Tuesday, his office said, with North Korea certain to dominate the talks amid concern it could conduct another nuclear test.

The two leaders will meet at 5 p.m. (local time) on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit. Xi told Yoon during a brief encounter ahead of a G20 session that he looks forward to their summit, and Yoon thanked Xi for calling him to congratulate him on his election in March, according to deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung.

The summit will come on the heels of a separate meeting between U.S. President Joe Biden and Xi the previous day. Biden told reporters afterward that he told Xi he thought China had an obligation to try to make it clear to North Korea it should not go ahead with what would be its seventh nuclear test and that the United States would have to “take certain actions that would be more defensive” in the event the North went ahead.

Biden said those actions could be “more up in the face of China.”

Yoon is expected to use his summit with Xi to further press Beijing to use whatever leverage it has to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile ambitions.

Tensions have escalated significantly in recent weeks as North Korea has launched missiles at an unprecedented rate and simulated nuclear strikes on South Korea.

The summit with Xi is expected to be the last bilateral meeting Yoon will have during his Southeast Asia tour that also included separate summits with Biden and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and a trilateral summit involving all three.

North Korea featured prominently in those meetings as well, with Yoon and Biden vowing to respond with “overwhelming force using all available means” in the event North Korea uses nuclear weapons.

The last time the leaders of South Korea and China met was in December 2019, when then President Moon Jae-in held a bilateral meeting with Xi on the sidelines of a South Korea-China-Japan summit in Beijing.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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